Oxford Borough continues to seek funding for parking garage
By Steven Hoffman
Oxford Borough officials could soon know whether one of the first grant applications for the construction of a proposed 300-space parking garage has been approved.
Stephen Krug, the principal of Krug Architects, informed Oxford Borough Council at its most recent meeting that the county is expected to soon announce the grant recipients for the latest round of community revitalization grants.
Oxford Borough submitted this grant application as part of its overall effort to attain funding from federal, state, and county sources to construct the parking garage as a long-term solution to its parking issues in the downtown area. The hope is that the parking garage will promote economic development in the commercial district.
Krug also said that a draft of a multi-model grant application is ready and is being reviewed before it is submitted before the deadline. A decision on this grant application will likely be available in November.
The borough has already reached an agreement to purchase two parcels that comprise the National Penn (now BB&T Bank) parking lot if the project moves forward. Oxford will pay $1 to acquire the rights to the two parcels. The agreement also stipulates that the bank will receive 40 parking spaces in the garage for a period of 25 years.
Oxford Borough officials will decide whether to move forward with building the parking garage once they know how much grant funding will be available for the project, which has an estimated cost of about $5.73 million. When Krug completed a comprehensive parking study in the latter part of 2015, he said that the borough could attain as much as $3 million in grants from various sources. His firm has worked with municipalities, including West Chester Borough, on the construction of parking garages.
The borough enlisted Krug Architects and Econ Partners, a full-service economic development firm, to facilitate the search for grant funding.
One of the things working in the borough's favor when it comes to securing grants for the parking garage project is the bipartisan support that it is receiving from State Sen. Andrew Dinniman and State Rep. John Lawrence. Dinniman is a Democrat, while Lawrence is a Republican. Both have been supportive of the project.
Krug said that he has also been working with borough officials to making the zoning changes that will be necessary, including revising the regulations for maximum building heights.
Oxford Borough Council subsequently approved an extension of the agreement with Krug Architects and Econ Partners that authorizes them to continue the pursuit of federal, state, and county funding.